May 7, 2019
It is day 2 of 4 days in Incredible India. Today we explored Mangalore with Tom and Alice and our guide, Savan and our driver whose name was too long to remember!
No matter where you go in the world, there is always Coke!
Mangalore has been a prominent hub of maritime trade for ages. As we arrived, we saw a lot of cranes and containers waiting to be placed on ships.
We talked with him about what we wanted to see and do, and he agreed to everything we said and we could modify things along the way. Thank goodness, there was plenty of water and the vehicle was air conditioned, it was very hot and humid.
Savan is an MBA graduate who has been unable to find a job in India, so he is providing service as a guide, and he is a very good one. He is studying to take the test for English proficiency so that he could get a job in another country. We asked if it is easy to leave India – he said it is easy to leave but hard to survive.
We traveled first to the Kadri Manjunath Temple, a Hindu temple that has a large area around it, but the actual temple is quite small. It dates back to approximately 1068. There are nine water ponds outside the temple where people go to take a holy dip. Savan said that if anyone is actually caught swimming, he or she is asked to leave. Here are some of the sights from around the temple. As always, no photos were allowed inside.
We watched these men doing the wood carving for parts of the temple.
We were very lucky to be at this temple on a festival day – the festival is Akshaya Tritiya. It is known as a day of new beginnings and also remembering loved ones who have died. They erect the same kind of pole that we saw in Nepal at New Year – the same way – with ropes. This one was already standing.
We met lots of people who were very excited to talk with us and find out where we were from. This family was just lovely. Everyone spoke English very well.
You often see the little children very dressed up.
Here are some pictures of the ponds.
During this festival, which is celebrated for 3 days, this temple gives out food to whoever comes for it. They start early in the morning and serve until 1:30 AM the next day. 25-30,000 people show up EVERY DAY. Savan belongs to this temple and his uncle and cousin were working so Alice and I got a wonderful tour of the kitchen. Amazing. Over 1000 volunteers do this work and the food is all donated.
Outside the temple we saw a whole row of the tuk tuks that are a major source of transportation here.
Next we went to the market, which Savan said was “just a small one”. So when we got there we knew that he understood sarcasm. It was huge. There was a fish market with both dried and regular fish, even some that were still alive. The vegetable and fruit market seemed to go on forever. I never saw so many bananas in one place.
We were pretty hot by now and Savan suggested ice cream at the best place in Mangalore – Ideal Ice Cream Parlor.
We all had two scoops of delicious ice cream and treated Savan too, and the bill for all 5 of us came to $6.50 US.
Note their sign with the small sign underneath it that says “have you checked your weight?” Seems strange for an ice cream parlor. But it didn’t stop us.
Afterwards we went to a flower market where men and women were making beautiful garlands of flowers.
Dessert was before lunch, and our lunch was at the Coral restaurant at the Ocean Pearl Hotel.
Our last adventure was to the Artisan Village where we saw many demonstrations of the traditional arts and crafts in Mangalore history. We was the pottery, rice pounding, stone carving, blacksmithing, weaving and cane furniture.
We also toured a traditional house from historic Mangalore.
Before we left we saw this man’s shirt and he allowed us to take a picture – but just of the shirt!
And, this is the trash bin in the terminal!
Hot and tiring day but another good one. Lots of contact with the local people. Savan ended the tour by asking each one of us what we liked the best. The people and the work at the temple were highlights for sure. And the ice cream.